If you follow my Instagram or Facebook, you’ll be familiar with my pineapple obsession. I love pineapples because they try to act hard on the outside but are sweet on the inside - it reminds me of myself my brother. Anyway, I thought I would share a few basics why you should probably be obsessed with pineapples too.
Where Do Pineapples Come From?
Pineapples grow indigenously in what is now considered Brazil and Paraguay. The first record of them comes from Christopher Columbus’ second voyage that landed he and his fellow explorers in the Caribbean Islands in 1493, specifically the island of Guadeloupe.
How pineapples made it from Brazil to the Caribbean is a horticultural mystery to this day. Little is known of how it became so widely cultivated, the why, however, is completely obvious - pineapple is delicious.
Most believe the Mayans and Aztecs are responsible for spreading the delicious fruit from the lower extremities of South America up to Mexico and the Caribbean (where Columbus encountered it). Columbus, like everyone else, found the fruit delicious and decided to take it back to Spain where pineapples quickly became a European Celebrity.
Although the fruit arrived in Europe in 1493, they were not successfully grown there until around 1600. Turns out it’s not so easy to grow a pineapple, in European climates at least (more on that below). As a result, every single pineapple enjoyed in Europe for a hundred years had to be grown in The New World and transported across the Atlantic. This incurred quite the expense, confining the fruit’s availability to European aristocrats.
High-society hosts or hostesses would rent the fruit from caterers to display at social gatherings as a status symbol. Serious connections (read money) were required to pull the pineapple strings just to have the fruit make an appearance. If you were actually eating pineapple there was a good chance that you may have been in the presence of royalty.
(King Charles II depicted receiving the first European-cultivated pineapple by his gardener John Rose)
Through its growing social popularity, the pineapple evolved into a symbol of hospitality. It began to be seen as a motif on many household items or furniture pieces intended for guests. For example, have you ever seen a bed with pineapples carved into the posts? ala guest room (your grandmother probably has one). In some accounts, the carved pineapple bed was prepared for guests even if it belonged to the master of the house.
Nowadays, the pineapple image appears in all sorts of places: carved into door frames of dining rooms, or as welcoming decorations such as door knockers, which is particularly common in Hawaii - because BONUS FACT: Hawaii is the location of the first commercial pineapple plantations. Thank you Mr. Dole. Pineapples are seen as concrete casts placed at the entryway of homes, cast iron door stoppers, kitchen potholders, and my personal favorite: contemporary pineapple architecture.
How To Grow Pineapple Indoors
- Through the whole process you need to be sure your pineapple is placed somewhere it can get lots of direct sunlight. After you pick your spot, here’s what you do.
- Twist off the crown of the pineapple (I recommended you eat the rest).
- Peel a few leaves back from the base of the crown to expose the stem. Then suspend the crown in a jar of clean water so that just the exposed base is submerged.
- Roots will begin to appear from the bottom of your crown. Wait until they are about an inch long, then remove the crown and plant it in a small pot that drains well.
- Now the fun part! Wait about one year (we know, ugh) then transfer your strong and stable pineapple plant to a larger pot.
- Wait another year 😭 and you might just get to enjoy some hard earned fruit.
Reasons to Eat More Pineapple
- Pineapples contains an enzyme called Bromelain. Studies have found that an increase in dietary Bromelain acts as an anti-inflammatory as well assists your body with digestion.
- There are also high levels of Vitamin-C in pineapples that help fight free radicals found in the body.Free radicals have been shown to contribute to cardiovascular issues such as arterial plaque buildup and diabetic heart disease and joint problems associated with osteoarthritis, a.k.a they’re evil.
- Articles published in the Archives of Ophthalmology suggests that a diet high in fruit containing vitamin-C, ahem, pineapple, can decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration by 36% (age related disease that deteriorates vision).
Lastly, eat your pineapple raw to maximize its health benefits!
Some of Our Favorite Recipes
Summer’s here, and you better believe I’m having pineapple. Here are a few of my favorite ways to cook it up.
- Pineapple Salsa!
- Pineapple Upsidedown Pancakes for Breakfast
- Pineapple Pizza, yes please.
- Purist? Cut Up a Fresh Pineapple, or Grill Pineapple Slices.
- Or how about Pineapples Foster for Dessert
Have a favorite recipe you’d like to share, or anything cool that you have seen done with pineapples? We want to know! Just drop in a comment below.
Stay Golden 🍍